I remember the smell of my grandma’s house when she was cooking this recipe: the cinnamon, the lemon and the orange. I wanted to recreate her arroz con leche with some healthier ingredients and give it a special touch with some warm chocolate sauce. It’s a perfect sweet treat for when the days start to get chilly.






Skill level

Average: 2.8 (48 votes)


  • 1 cup brown (whole-grain) rice, soaked in water overnight
  • 1 orange
  • 1 small lemon
  • 625 ml (2½ cups) unsweetened almond milk
  • 500 ml (2 cups) water
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • ¼ cup unsalted crushed pistachios
  • chopped seasonal fruits to serve, such as tangerines and plums


Chocolate sauce

  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil or cacao butter
  • ¼ cup raw cacao powder
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • a pinch of sea salt

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Soaking time overnight

Place the soaked rice in a sieve and rinse under running water. Drain.

Wash and dry the orange and lemon with a clean cloth. Zest the orange with a zester. Using a knife, peel the lemon, reserving the peel. Place the rice, orange zest and lemon peel in a saucepan with the almond milk, water, maple syrup, cinnamon sticks and salt.

Cook over medium heat, stirring every 5 minutes, for 30–35 minutes or until the liquid is almost gone. If the rice is still hard, add some more almond milk and cook for a couple more minutes until it softens.

To make the chocolate sauce, place all the ingredients in a saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until it comes to the boil. Remove from heat. Try to serve immediately otherwise it will thicken.

To serve, divide the rice mixture among small bowls. Drizzle over the chocolate sauce, sprinkle with the pistachios and add your favourite fruits on top for decoration.


Recipe from In The Making by Belén by Belén Vázquez Amaro, with photographs by Belén Vázquez Amaro.